Featured Startup Pitch: Gluu.me pulls together features of various popular social networks into one, location-based mobile app
Founders: Alceo Marti and Miro Leko
Brief Company Description: Gluu.me—synergy of functionalities—all in one place. Mobile social networking with a difference that helps you meet new friends.
By Miro Leko, co-founder
Gluu.me is a location-based social networking application that helps people connect and meet new friends through popular features like chat, video and photo sharing, poking, and more. An advantage of the app is that it shows the location of the user on a local map so people can easily start a conversation with others who share the same or similar location. Another advantage is the synergy of functionalities and characteristics of other popular social networks into one app.
Alceo and I have been close friends since childhood. We took completely different career paths prior to reconnecting for the development of Gluu.me.
Presently, I am the registered Director of the company Wire Ltd. I am also the lead partner and founder of the law firm LEKO & PARTNERI, with extensive experience in finance and corporate law. Prior to founding Gluu.me, I previously held positions on the Board of Directors of several companies.
By contrast, my partner Alceo has a brilliant creative side. He is an award winning artist, musical director, and creator of documentaries. Right now he is the Creative Director of Wire Ltd.
Since I have known Alceo for so long, and was well aware of the creative strengths he could bring to a new company, I decided to launch my new venture, Wire Ltd, with him, confident that my his passion for art and design would complement my business and law background nicely.
Shortly after starting the company, we met Vlado Banda , a seasoned and talented IT professional. We immediately recognized his potential, and decided to appoint him as the company’s Head of Development. Vlado Banda is one of the best engineers in his class, with extensive experience in developing numerous projects in Croatia, Italy and Great Britain. He is also a co-owner of the software company INTERACTIVE1.
We collaborated on various media projects in Croatia prior to the launch of Gluu.me. During that time, we exchanged ideas on social networking, and realized that the next big trend in this sector would be a mobile app that combines characteristics and functionalities of the most popular social networks, such as Facebook, Twitter and Foursquare. We can freely say that all those social networks and new apps have inspired us to create an app that combines all of these functionalities. Before Gluu.me, you would need to move from one app to the other, depending on what functionality you want to use. Once we agreed that there was a market gap, we were inspired to create an application that fused popular social networking principles with various smartphone functionalities.
Our target demographic in the USA are people who read lifestyle and technology magazines, as well as early adopters who recognize and enjoy experimenting with new trends. Our main promotion strategy is through social media. For example, Gluu.me has acquired over 50,000 Facebook followers and is growing every day. Additionally, Gluu.me also has followers on Twitter and Pinterest. We are currently trying to expand our promotion and reach New York, especially parts of Brooklyn, where the target demographic is especially present.
How We Differentiate from the Competition
Gluu.me is a multifunctional application. It combines the most popular features of Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and Foursquare. Because of its location-based service, it also has a huge marketing potential. It simplifies communication and tracking between friends and groups by skipping the frequent ‘Where are you?’ question. In the next update, which is expected to take place within a few days, the application will implement an additional six world languages so that Gluu.me may be brought to an even broader layer of global users, and, with that, become one of the rare, if not only apps to have a functionality of this kind.
The Company is preparing the Gluu.me SHOP, which will, within one of the business models, enable shopping and sending electronic gifts and other features among users. Other options are individual and group marketing based on interests or locations of the users.
At this moment, just two-to-three months after starting a simple and budgeted marketing campaign, we may say that Gluu.me was downloaded on more than 90,000 devices all over the world and has shown great starting results in Asia and in Arabic countries.
However, the ‘real’ campaign hasn’t officially started yet. We are preparing to enter the Chinese market shortly, because we believe that there is a huge potential in the market for Gluu.me. The feedback from our users tells us that this specific market has recognized us and our idea of combining various functionalities in one app, and we are often getting feedback from users stating that they found Gluu.me as ‘something different.’
Right now we are in the process of redesigning the app, which will give a better user experience and provide users with a more user-friendly interface.
The competition is certainly fierce for geo-location apps, and it has been a challenge to stand apart in the market due to a comparable difference in the amount of funding we have received. Nevertheless, we are proud to say that the complete design and development of Gluu.me was done on a shoestring budget, yet, in addition to achieving over 90,000 downloads, we are already being compared to competitors that have acquire funding, such as Najo, Skot, GroupMe, Sonar, Two, etc.
For now, the company and the project are funded completely by us. However, due to our planned worldwide expansion, we require new capital because of high marketing expenses. We consider that the application has enormous potential, especially because of successful results in Asian and Arabian countries. The next campaign is set to be released in China.
Gluu.me – www.gluu.me